Earth Day is slated for April 22, giving businesses an opportunity to take part in some eco-friendly activities. Some of these actions can potentially even make your office more energy efficient throughout the rest of the year and provide some inspiration to your team and even your customers.
Green Activities for Earth Day
Here are 20 ideas for you to make the most of Earth Day 2018.
Plant a Tree Outside Your Office
Earth Day is a great opportunity to add some greenery to your community and the area right outside your office or storefront. Get your team together to plant a tree and discuss how trees improve air quality and improve the planet’s ecosystems.
Clean Up a Local Park
You could also get a team together to pick up trash at a local park or outdoor area. In addition to reducing pollution, this can also serve as a team building activity for your environmentally conscious employees. You might even invite some partners and top clients to join you in the effort.
Volunteer with a Local Environmental Group
There are many environmental non-profits around the country that are likely to organize their own clean-up and greening efforts around Earth Day. You and your team could volunteer to support their mission on the holiday to get involved and network with other community members.
Start a Rooftop Garden
At your office building, you can add some greenery by starting a garden on your roof or even just using planters along your window sills. Grow herbs and vegetables to stock your kitchen with fresh and organic produce.
Add Plants to Your Office
You can also simply add some potted plants  around your workspace. Many of these plants can improve indoor air quality and provide a number of other benefits. So use Earth Day as an opportunity to invite your whole team to bring in their favorite plants.
Create a Printer Policy
A printer policy, which could specify the instances where employees are allowed to print hard copies of documents and when they should opt for just digital copies instead. Use Earth Day as an opportunity to introduce this policy and explain the environmental benefits of cutting down on paper usage.
Institute a Paper-Free Day
Alternatively, you might even take a ceremonial stance on paper use, instituting a paperless day for all of Earth Day, where no one prints or copies anything. It might even make you and your team realize just how much you can accomplish without using paper.
Install Light Timers
Electricity use is another area where you can potentially make your business greener throughout the year. On Earth Day, you can mark the occasion by installing timers on the lights so that they automatically turn off if they don’t sense movement in a room for a lengthy period of time.
Replace All Your Light Bulbs
If you haven’t already, you can also use the holiday as an opportunity to replace the lightbulbs throughout your office, store or restaurant with energy-efficient LED bulbs, which don’t need to be replaced as often and use electricity.
Start a Carpool
You can also get employees involved in the Earth Day fun by starting a carpool where team members can sign up to drive into work with others who live nearby on certain days. Even if you can get some people to drive in together one day a week, you can decrease the amount of air pollution and fuel usage in your area.
Let Employees Telecommute
Or you could take a different approach and simply let employees telecommute on Earth Day so that no one has to make that trek out to the office. If it works out, you might even consider instituting a telecommute day each week or month.
Replace Disposable Dishes
Another environmental approach could be to revamp your office kitchen. In honor of the holiday, ask your team to bring in a mug or two from home so that you can dump the styrofoam cups. Then invest in some washable plates, bowls and cups so you can stop stocking the kitchen with disposable kitchenware.
Collect Recyclables from Customers
If you have a store or other business that customers can actually visit, put up signs leading up to Earth Day encouraging customers to bring in items that might be difficult to recycle, like batteries and electronics. Then bring those items to a recycling center or electronics company that can refurbish them.
Send Out a Green Message on Social Media
Engaging customers  in your environmental efforts can be a great way to involve even more people in the Earth Day fun. You can share your company’s environmental initiative and offer an easy suggestions for your followers to get involved in their own way.
Make a Donation
You could also contribute to environmental causes financially. Give your employees an opportunity to contribute throughout the day and then make a major contribution to your environmental organization of choice at the end of the day.
Set Out a Donation Jar
Or you could even get your customers involved by setting out a donation jar near your cash register to support a local environmental group. Then make sure that you share the donation you made with their contributions on Earth Day.
Download Eco-Friendly Apps
There are plenty of mobile apps  out there that can help your business decrease its carbon footprint, from those that decrease junk mail to some that can make virtual work or meetings possible. For Earth Day, have a meeting where your team can share all of their favorite green apps and then encourage everyone to download their favorites.
Create a “Green Team” of Employees
Another way to get your employees involved could be to create a specific team  dedicated to making the workplace more energy efficient. Host an Earth Day meeting where you ask for volunteers and then allow the team to make periodic suggestions to you for improvements to make around the office.
Set Up a Pledge Board
You can also get the whole team involved by setting up a pledge board asking what each person plans on doing to help the environment on Earth Day and beyond.
Write to Your Representatives
Finally, you can give your team the opportunity to write to their representatives asking them to support the environmental causes that are close to their hearts. You don’t need to push a particular cause, but maybe hold a meeting where you share some information about a few different options, then allow people the option to compose their own letters.
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